The phrase ‘putting your best foot forward’ is better advice than most people realize, since feet play a vital role in your body’s ability to function well. Feet are our base of support, they allow us to walk and move, they protect our knees, hips, and spine from impact, and support the weight of our bodies above them. In order for feet to do their job well they need to be strong, flexible, and properly aligned, just like any other part of your body. However, we tend to cover our feet with socks and shoes and forget about them, even though they are an important part of our overall health. When our feet aren’t working as well as they should we risk developing problems in other parts of our bodies.
The Foot-Body Connection
Our feet are our foundation, and the way your foot acts on the ground influences your whole body’s alignment above it. A problem in the foot can cause us to step slightly differently, leading to a chain reaction of compensation in our walking mechanics and posture. These changes put stress on joints higher up and can lead to secondary problems such as knee, low back, or even neck pain. Conversely, the development of foot pain can be due to issues higher up in the body. Dysfunction in your back or hips, for example, can change the way you walk or stand, resulting in abnormal stress on your feet and eventual aches and pains.
How healthy are your feet?
Most people have experienced some type of foot pain at one time or another, but it should not be considered a normal part of everyday life. Feet that feel tired and achy at the end of the day, sharp pain in the heel or ball of the foot, swelling, numbness or tingling, and muscle cramps are all signs that your feet are struggling to cope with their daily workload. Even if you don’t have pain, things like callus formation or asymmetrical wear patterns in your shoes can signal biomechanical problems.
What can you do?
Including your feet in your regular self care plan is a good start. Your chiropractor can evaluate your body’s alignment from the ground up, identify areas of dysfunction, and provide treatment and recommendations to help resolve the problem. By addressing any symptoms you are currently experiencing as well as getting regular check ups, you can prevent minor problems from becoming more serious down the road. Come in and see one of the chiropractors at evolve for an assessment.
Keeping your feet working well is a great step towards optimal health!
Dr. Christine White, D.C.